Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Week 30 Shoe Inserts a BIG HIT !!!


Dear Family,

I hope you are all doing just perfectly well, that Dorothea´s children
have recuperated and that everything is going with Amanda´s pregnancy.
I am doing well health-wise and really enjoying the new shoe inserts
that Mom sent me. They fit in well to the slip-on shoes that Phil gave
me and so I am literally doing well on my feet. Beyond that I am
enjoying the Summer come to a close. In this part of Santa Catarina,
it seems that it starts cooling off in March. My secret to success I
think is that fact that I am drinking about 4-5 liters of water every
single day. In all reality, it has not been that hot recently, only
staying around 25-35 degrees, which is good.

I have already received notice that I will be transferred from
the area and to a new companion, which is kind of sad on my part. I am
really enjoying the steep hills that they have here and all the good
people that live on them. To say the truth, I feel like a hill is a
manageable challenge and really one with which I can show the Lord
that I am trying to push a little harder. My secret for getting up
hills is to be constant and to apply more force when it gets harder. So
doing, I stay really happy about the hills. Some days it is harder to
get going for some reason, which I don´t think is due to increasing
weariness but rather the natural man in me not wanting to do a good
thing because it is more difficult than doing the easier thing. In
reality, this applies to many a thing and as I realized this Friday as
well as Saturday, I think one of the keys to success or at least some
happiness is really just to be doing something significant all the
time. That´s why I like standing so much, as opposed to sitting down
and slouching like a lot of missionaries do when we arrive at a
member´s house for lunch. Standing means that I can be readier to
spring into action when duty calls. In terms of contacting and all of
the missionary work, it also means that you have higher numbers as you
manage to talk to more people. What happiness! An example of this
would be that I decided that we would go contacting in the town square
right across from the bus station before taking the bus to a member´s
house for lunch. So doing, we were happier and more at a disposition
to work. In short, doing more work encourages doing more and doing
better, while laziness and slothfulness on the part of missionaries
will encourage more slothfulness, unfortunately. One thing that I am
praying for (and there are a lot of things that I am praying for) is
that I will always be willing to do, or as the Nike slogan which I
have so frequently quoted to myself goes: `Just do it!´

This goes along perfectly with a very interesting inactive member I
met this past week. His name is Roberto and is a fellow who took off
from home at 19 to go to the USA. He stayed in Utah for a time before
going off to Hawaii, where he was baptized. After that he started working
as a Hotel Resort Security guard and did that in Ecuador, Costa Rica
and Florianopolis. At the time he is living here probably till his
decrepit father deceases. When that happens, I wouldn´t be surprised
if he were to take off again and go to St. Petersburg to do the same
work. It was interesting to meet somebody again that has met a lot of
different people, which I am probably only saying because it has been
some time that I have even met somebody that has left the country. In
reality, most Brazilians, like Americans, generally stay in the
country. Truckers frequently go abroad, through the other Mercosul
(look it up, Arnold and Christoph probably already know what it is) countries. In
due time, the exchange reminded me both of the American expatriates
that I have met as well as the somewhat internationally flavored BYU
environment, even if that is only due to people having gone on
missions abroad.

This last week I started waking up at 6:15 to study the scriptures
before exercise, and that has been also going really well. With the
time change on Sunday (that is to say that we had `Spring back´ rather
than forward) the sun is going up earlier and so I switched to
studying at 6:00. Since I asked President if that was fine and he said
yes, I am now looking forward to being able to get more study in during
the day, as for some reason my scripture card study hasn´t been going
too well during the day.

Topic of the week: The company BRF (Brasil Foods).
Located in a straight course from the chapel road is the huge BRF
(formerly Sadia) factory, which employs somewhere around 10,000
people. Seeing that around 80,000 people live here, that is quite a
bit. In a recent acquisition, the old and popular company Sadia merged
with Perdigão and others to probably have a bigger hold on the
international market. From this city, meat goes all over the world
with England and Japan having been named as specifics to me before.
While somewhat noxious, the stench of thousands of chickens and pigs
entering the factory every few hours to be slaughter fills the city
from end to end quite frequently. It is amazing that we can be so
detached from something like that but I reason that the whole issue
would be very different from an animal´s point of view. Nevertheless,
I do see that I would never want to work in the food business. The
people here work long hours and the idea of reading a book (the Book
of Mormon) is generally more difficult of a concept to grasp.

Switching back to my current work using book as a segue. This week I
starting teaching using the Book of Mormon in the first lesson. So
far, it has been a good experience which cuts with the sharp sword of
the Spirit straight to the point. We taught a lovely couple on
Saturday, Mónica and Cristiano that by the end of the lesson seemed
really excited to read the Book of Mormon and learn more about Jesus
Christ and his Gospel. This same issue is tied to practice: With more
practice, Elder Romero and I have been enjoying our companion study
and our work more. Practice and do! What key actions.

On the topic of study, I realized on Thursday how much I love studying
and that I was a little peeved at the realization that most of my
studying in life is over. Maybe that is an indicator for me to go into
academics when all this is over.

We are praying for our investigator Victor, a sweet and humble fellow
who needs to stop smoking to be baptized.


Elder Luschin

Elder Frederick Luschin

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